Citing unfinished business, one of IU’s most valuable players will be back for his senior season.
After briefly considering the NFL Draft, Tampa, Fla. native Whop Philyor has announced that he will be back for his last year of eligibility with Indiana.
Philyor made the announcement on his Twitter account Monday evening:
— Whop Philyor™ (@SuperstarWhop) January 7, 2020
Before a concussion against Penn State caused him to miss more than a half against the Nittany Lions plus the following week against Michigan, Philyor had the single season IU receiving record books within his sights.
James Hardy’s 2007 single season reception record of 79 and Ernie Jones’ 1987 receiving yards in a season record of 1,265 both appeared to be attainable after a particularly productive stretch in late September and early October.
Philyor appeared in 12 games on the 2019 season. Ultimately, he caught a total of 70 passes for 1,002 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 178 pound Philyor did set at least one IU record during the 2019 season. His 24 receptions over a two game stretch (Michigan State and Rutgers) were more than any Hoosier pass catcher in any two consecutive games.
Philyor was limited to just seven games in 2018 due to injuries, and IU head coach Tom Allen spoke on more than one occasion this year about the value his top receiver brings to the offense.
“It hurt us last year losing him,” Allen said. “But just to be able to see him rewarded for having a great offseason. He came into fall camp as big as he’s ever been and as fast as he’s ever been.”
Allen also spoke about Philyor’s contributions that go beyond catching passes.
“He’s blocking his tail off,” Allen said. “Whether it’s in the run game or the perimeter game. And he’s not very big. But there’s a toughness to him and a competitive spirit. He just wants to win and he just wants to help this program do great things.”
For his three year career, Philyor is up to 126 receptions for 1,572 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has added 20 rushes for 126 yards during his time at IU.
It would take another huge and healthy season, but Hardy’s career record totals of 191 receptions and 2,740 yards are both clearly within Philyor’s reach.
The Hoosiers will lose fifth year senior receivers Nick Westbrook and Donavan Hale next season, which makes Philyor’s decision even more important.
Returning with Philyor in the 2020 receiving group will be Ty Fryfogle, David Ellis and Miles Marshall along with several true and redshirt freshmen. Philyor, Fryfogle and returning tight end Peyton Hendershot were IU’s top three pass catchers in 2019.
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